Traverse the “Top of the Alps” Through the Bernese Oberland

Hiking Switzerland’s Via Alpina

Switzerland

10 Days

From $7,295

Level 5+

Strenuous

Overview

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    Overview

    Hike the high trails of the Via Alpina in Switzerland's Jungfrau region, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage area that includes the legendary massifs of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau and the mighty Aletsch Glacier, the largest in the Alps. Amid this mountain glory, we hike on the famed Eiger Trail (as close as hikers can get to the awesome North Face of the Eiger), explore the Aletsch Glacier between the massive Jungfrau and Mönch massifs, and pass through some of the most gorgeous settings in the Alps. One special overnight is at the historic Hotel Bellevue des Alpes, right at the foot of the Eiger and brimming with mountain-climbing lore. If you love exhilarating hikes and Swiss mountain splendor, this is the adventure for you!

    Arrive: Lucerne, Switzerland

    Depart: Kandersteg, Switzerland

    Highlights

    • Challenging hikes and stunning views of the Bernese Alps
    • Hike the famous Eiger Trail below the North Face of the Eiger
    • Explore mountain-ringed villages, from Engelberg and Mürren to Kandersteg
    • Cross Hohtürli Pass to descend past icefalls to majestic Lake Oeschinensee
    • Enjoy the ancient alpine heritage of the Jungfrau region
    • Overnights in lovely hotels, including the historic hotel right below the Eiger

    Overview

      Book Online Download Itinerary

      Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

      Itinerary

      Download Itinerary Expand All Days
      From the village of Engelberg, we hike to Surenenpass for a magnificent view of fjord-like Lake Uri and the Reuss Valley. We'll stop for refreshments at a mountain refuge in high pastures. Our hike up to Planplatten (7,254') brings us 360-degree views far into the peaks of the Bernese Oberland, and we descend by cable car to the charming village of Meiringen.
      We hike a balcony trail above Grosse Scheidegg Pass, with an overnight at Grindelwald, a Swiss town with a stunning location below the Eiger. Taking the train to Alpiglen, we head out on the famed Eiger Trail, one of the top walks in Europe, leading along the foot of the infamous North Face of the Eiger. Views are phenomenal, stretching across the Grindelwald Valley and to the Wetterhorn. Afterwards, we'll overnight at the turn-of-the-century hotel below the Eiger to soak up alpine history in a special setting (The Eiger Sanction was filmed here).
      An unforgettable ride on a century-old cogwheel train brings us to Jungfraujoch (11,371'), Europe's highest railway station, set on the saddle between Jungfrau and Mönch. Here we'll hike on the great Aletsch Glacier flanked by 12,000-foot peaks. Hiking options the next day are in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, with its towering granite walls and 72 thundering waterfalls.
      Vistas are breathtaking as we hike from lovely Murren up to dramatic Sefinenfurke Pass (8,600'), with a spectacular descent into the end-of-the-road hamlet of Griesalp. Our last hike brings us up to Hohtürli Pass and past glaciers to Oeschinensee, a surreal blue lake encircled by mountain ramparts, with a descent to the village of Kandersteg. Depart on Day 10.

      Dates & Pricing

      Pricing below is per person and based on double occupancy. The earlier you book, the more choice you’ll have. WT also has the most generous cancellation and transfer policies in the industry, we make it easy if you change your mind. Have a small group of your own? Take over an existing date or choose your own. You’ll have your own private guide–and the adventure–all to yourselves!

      Payment & Cancel Schedule

      At time of reservation: $600
      90 days prior to departure: Balance

      Cancellation & Transfer Schedule

      Up to 91 days prior to departure: No Charge!
      61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
      46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
      45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

      Included
      • Expert leadership of two Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders
      • Accommodations in hotels and mountain inns
      • All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      • A glass of wine or beer with dinner
      • All ground transportation and baggage handling from meeting until departure
      • All activities as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      Not Included
      • Travel to and from the arrival and departure location as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      • Additional hotel nights outside the trip's scheduled dates
      • Optional gratuities to Trip Leaders or staff
      • Optional travel insurance
      • Other expenses of a personal nature (some alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)

      Accommodations

      Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

      Hotel Monopol Luzern

      Lucerne, Switzerland, Switzerland

      Day 1 (1 night)

      Set right in Lucerne's city center, the 77-room Hotel Monopol has an enviable location. It's a quick walk from the railway station and set right by the lake and the Chapel Bridge. Architecturally, it's quite fascinating, with a Baroque exterior that makes it resemble a Parisian or Viennese palace. At...

      Hotel Bellevue Terminus

      Engelberg, Switzerland

      Day 2 (1 night)

      At this traditional Victorian-era hotel, we stay in spacious, newly renovated rooms that offer fantastic views and spiffy modern touches. Relax on the outdoor terrace or have a drink in the bar while enjoying marvelous mountain views.

      Hotel Victoria

      Meiringen, Switzerland

      Day 3 (1 night)

      This boutique-style hotel is conveniently located in the center of Meiringen, right across the street from the Sherlock Holmes Museum. The 18 guest rooms are modern, clean, and sport a Swiss-chic minimalist decor. The restaurant, which serves up excellent Asian fusion cuisine, has been awarded...

      Parkhotel Schoenegg

      Grindelwald, Switzerland

      Day 4 (1 night)

      Originally built in 1868, this chalet, set right in the heart of Grindelwald, was once a doctor's surgery-turned-family guesthouse and is still run by the fifth generation of family owners. We stay in twin-bedded rooms with balconies offering breathtaking mountain views—we're surrounded by the Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn, and Eiger. The...

      Hotel Bellevue des Alpes

      Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland

      Day 5 (1 night)

      This historic, family-run hotel is set right on the Kleine Scheidegg pass, and was once the “home base” of climbers attempting the Eiger. It offers a country house ambiance with touches of fin de siècle decor. Guest rooms are old-fashioned but nice and comfortable, maintaining the charms of an earlier...

      Drei Berge Hotel

      Murren, Switzerland

      Days 6-7 (2 nights)

      Centrally located in the quiet little village of Murren, the Drei Berge Hotel is an absolutely charming place to stay, with great chalet-style decor, friendly owners who are consummate hosts, good hiking trails right out the front door, and—the best part—breathtaking views of the massive peaks of the Eiger, Monch,...

      Griesalp Hotel

      Kiental, Switzerland

      Day 8 (1 night)

      In Griesalp we stay at a small hotel complex at the foot of the Blumlisalp that offers welcoming and cozy accommodations in the midst of a hiker's paradise. A sauna and steam room are available to soothe our tired muscles at the end of an invigorating hiking day.

      Waldhotel Doldenhorn

      Kandersteg, Switzerland

      Day 9 (1 night)

      Situated in a quiet garden-like setting just outside the village of Kandersteg, the Waldhotel Doldenhorn is a great place to relax after our day's hike. Spa facilities include a large pool, two Jacuzzis, and saunas, and its two dining venues—one for fine dining and the other conveying a traditional rustic...

      What the Trip is Like

      This trip is rated Level 5+, Strenuous, according to our trip grading system. You will need to be comfortable hiking 11 miles a day for several days in a row, being on your feet for up to 9 hours a day, and hiking on narrow, uneven, and exposed surfaces. While no climbing or mountaineering experience is necessary, all trip members should have ample hiking experience and be able to keep up with the group as there are no alternative hiking options available. Trail conditions, weather, and the group's level of fitness can affect hiking times and pacing.

      Average Hiking Day
      • 9 miles; 7 hours
      • 2,500-3,500 feet gain/loss
      • Altitudes range from 7,000-11,500 feet
      Challenge Day
      • Day 8: 14 miles, 8-9 hours, 4,500 feet gain, and 4,250 feet loss
      Review Trip Level Details
      At lower elevations, the trails are usually packed dirt, but at higher elevations they are often much rockier, with occasional sections of glacial snow, loose scree, and large boulders. On some days, you will encounter sections of narrow, exposed trails with steep descents and chain handrails. Your experienced mountain guides are there to assist you if needed.
      Temperatures are likely to reach the 60s°F and 70s°F during the day, with cool breezes and occasional rain. At night the temperature will drop quite a bit, depending on the altitude. The months we run these trips have the optimal weather conditions, but still can be fickle. It can range from blue skies to cloudy, wet, and cold conditions, making rain gear and warm garments necessary items to carry with you on every hike.
      We spend our nights in alpine inns and hotels. Some are more traditional hotels and some have very small rooms, but they all have their own private bathroom with a shower or bathtub. Please note that the rooms are not always of uniform or international size. Our leaders do their best to assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trip as a whole. Many hotels also do not have an elevator or porter service, so be prepared to carry your luggage up the stairs. Single rooms can be requested but are not always available, due to the limited space in the hotels. If you prefer a single room, please make your request as early as possible.

      Lunch will be in a mountain lodge, at a local restaurant, or in a picnic spot amidst the beauty of the surrounding mountains. Most evenings we will have dinner at our hotel. Some of the items you may see on the menu include hearty soups, a variety of cheeses and dry meats from the region, cheese fondue, raclette (melted cheese served with jacket potatoes), cocktail gherkins and onions, pickled fruit, älplermagronen (a kind of gratin with potatoes, macaroni, cheese, cream and onions), rösti (a flat, hot cake made of grated, cooked potatoes and fried in hot butter), zürcher geschnetzelte (a veal dish, sometimes also containing veal liver and mushrooms, served with a cream sauce), and bratwurst served with onion sauce.

      Please note that in Europe, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the US. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 pm.

      Our support vehicle will transport the group's luggage, so you only need to carry a daypack (rain gear, sweater, camera, water bottle, etc.). Trip members are always free to skip a day's hike and travel to the next destination in the support vehicle (or remain at the hotel if we are not transfering that day). We will experience the efficient Swiss network of public transport from cable cars and chair lifts to cogwheel trains, funiculars, and the Post Bus which travels along marvelous, scenic roads to tiny mountain hamlets while delivering bread, salad, the newspaper, and letters to the locals.

      Client Testimonials

      "Well seasoned trip leaders, great company, and a excellent Swiss experience."

      Jorge A.

      Council Rocks, IA

      "Great trip, with an excellent variety of experiences. Hikes were all interesting, challenging enough and beautiful. Hotels varied nicely from simple to more luxurious, each appropriate for the time and place. GREAT trail snacks and the meals were delicious."

      Marilyn H.

      Barnstable, MA

      "The entire trip was impressively well-run. In particular the level and timeliness of communication from the trip leaders was outstanding; I realized whenever I reached a point where I wanted to know something about where we were staying the next night, or where we would have dinner, etc., a trip leader would already be answering the question to the group."

      Matt P.

      Orinda, CA

      "An outstanding trip with excellent hikes and incredible scenery."

      Michelle J.

      Irvine, CA

      "The itinerary was excellent—wonderful hiking day by day, great views of the Alps, nice hotels every night, optional rest days were perfect. Our trip leaders were excellent, knowledgeable, responsive to us, technically very capable, and nice people."

      Rick C.

      Portland, OR

      "The trip exceeded my expectations, and I was able to see the Alps for the third time and be in awe of the mountains. The food and accommodations overall have to be some of the best on any of my trips."

      Terrell N.

      Los Angeles, CA

      Book your trip today

      Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

      Itinerary

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      Trip Levels

      With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

      Level 1 – Easiest

      Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

      Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

      Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

       

      Level 3 – Moderate

      Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

      Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

       

      Level 5 – Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

      Level 6 – Very Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

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Our trip leaders were excellent, knowledgeable, responsive to us, technically very capable, and nice people."},{"GuestNames":"Terrell N.","GuestLocation":"Los Angeles, CA","GuestReview":"The trip exceeded my expectations, and I was able to see the Alps for the third time and be in awe of the mountains. The food and accommodations overall have to be some of the best on any of my trips."}],"Extensions":[{}],"SimilarTrips":[{"TripID":10365,"SimilarTripID":10394,"Trip_Code":"BERGAMO","Trip_Name":"Hiking Bergamo to Innsbruck"},{"TripID":10365,"SimilarTripID":10307,"Trip_Code":"HRTSWISS","Trip_Name":"Hiking the Heart of Switzerland"},{"TripID":10365,"SimilarTripID":10656,"Trip_Code":"BLANCMED","Trip_Name":"Mont Blanc to the Mediterranean"},{"TripID":10365,"SimilarTripID":10341,"Trip_Code":"TMB","Trip_Name":"Tour du Mont Blanc"}],"Specialists":[{}],"TripSegments":[{"VendorID":74812,"ProductID":86647,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extra Hotel Night","Vendor":"Hotel Monopol Luzern","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Lucerne","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Pre-Trip Extra Services: Hotel Monopol (DATES, 1 night)","Day":0,"Sequence":20,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"Set right in Lucerne's city center, the 77-room Hotel Monopol has an enviable location. 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The restaurant serves up a wonderful breakfast spread, and has excellent local beer on tap and amazing desserts!<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-drei-berge-hotel-exterior-landscape.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":71704,"ProductID":81532,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Griesalp Hotel","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Kiental","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":8,"Sequence":10,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>In Griesalp we stay at a small hotel complex at the foot of the Blumlisalp that offers welcoming and cozy accommodations in the midst of a hiker's paradise. 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Spa facilities include a large pool, two Jacuzzis, and saunas, and its two dining venues&mdash;one for fine dining and the other conveying a traditional rustic ambiance&mdash;serve excellent cuisine.<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-waldhotel-doldenhorn-terrace.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":71189,"ProductID":84829,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extra Hotel Night","Vendor":"Waldhotel Doldenhorn","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Kandersteg","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Post-Trip Extra Services: Waldhotel Doldenhorn (DATES, 1 night)","Day":10,"Sequence":20,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"<p>Situated in a quiet garden-like setting just outside the village of Kandersteg, the Waldhotel Doldenhorn is a great place to relax after our day&#39;s hike. Spa facilities include a large pool, two Jacuzzis, and saunas, and its two dining venues&mdash;one for fine dining and the other conveying a traditional rustic ambiance&mdash;serve excellent cuisine.<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-waldhotel-doldenhorn-terrace.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false}],"CustomFields":{"Custom_TC_Detailed_Itin_URL":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/portal\/hiking-switzerlands-via-alpina-itinerary-2024.pdf","Custom_Trip_Name_Addendum":"Adventure","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Addendum":"","Custom_Trip_Level_5":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-13T09:18:02 --><p>Please note that in addition to completing your own Medical Form, a signed Medical Practitioner Form is also required for your trip. Please find this form attached. You can also find this in the &quot;Documents&quot; tab in your Guest Portal (through the link above). Once you receive your physician's approval, please upload the signed form to your Portal (directions on how to do this can be found in your Portal).<\/p>","Custom_Welcome_Email_Send_List":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-13T09:18:28 --><p>Extra Service Request Form<br \/>Medical Practitioner Form<\/p>","Custom_Welcome_Email-Insurance":"","Custom_FI_Optional_Donation_Text":"","Custom_Final_Docs_Letter_Send_List":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Trip_Sales_Points":"<body>Another fun resource is this <a href=\" http:\/\/photoblog.wildernesstravel.com\/hiking-the-best-sections-of-switzerlands-via-alpina\/\">blog post<\/a>, complete with amazing photos that I think will give you a great sense of the adventure ahead.<\/body><meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/>\n","Custom_Sales_Email_-_TP_Trip_Sales_Points":"<body>Another fun resource is this <a href=\" http:\/\/photoblog.wildernesstravel.com\/hiking-the-best-sections-of-switzerlands-via-alpina\/\">blog post<\/a>, complete with amazing photos that I think will give you a great sense of the adventure ahead.<\/body><meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/>\n","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Payment_Terms":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>In order to confirm your space on this trip, we require a first deposit of $600 per person, which is fully refundable up to 91 days prior to departure.<\/body>","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>Alps Hiking<\/body>","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Emergency_Evac_Insurance":"","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Reading_List":"<strong>Reading List:<\/strong> Elevate your travel experience by delving into this <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-hiking-switzerland-s-via-alpina\">curated collection of books<\/a> tailored to your upcoming adventure.","Custom_Valid_Passport_Alternative":"","Custom_Visa":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Luggage_Requirements":"","Custom_Carry-On":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-26T15:54:50 --><p><strong>CARRY-ON: <\/strong>Valuable or essential items, such as hiking boots, camera equipment, and prescription medications, should be hand carried on your flights to avoid loss or damage.<\/p>","Custom_Hiking_Poles":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-26T15:55:13 --><p><strong>HIKING POLES:<\/strong> If you choose to bring hiking poles, they must be packed in your checked luggage as they are not permitted in carry-on bags.<\/p>","Custom_Daypack":"<p><strong>DAYPACK: <\/strong>Daypack, large enough for a jacket or rain gear, water bottle, camera, and other items you want on the trail. Very few daypacks are waterproof, so make sure you have a waterproof cover for your pack or a waterproof stuff sack inside your pack.<\/p>","Custom_Vaccination_Card":"","Custom_FB_Packing_Reminders_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Arrival":"<p><strong>ARRIVING IN LUCERNE<\/strong><br>Trip members are responsible for transferring to Lucerne on their own. A Swiss Half Fare Card is included with these Final Documents, which you should use to purchase half price train tickets for your arrival and departure trains. These Half Fare Cards will also be used throughout the tour as your trip leaders purchase various cable car and train tickets. Trains from Zurich to Lucerne take about 1 hour, and trains from Geneva take about 3 hours. There is usually at least one train per hour, and no need to book ahead. You can see schedules and fares online at <a href=\"http:\/\/www.sbb.ch\/en \">www.sbb.ch\/en<\/a> or <a href=\"http:\/\/www.raileurope.com\">www.raileurope.com<\/a>. The Hotel Monopol is right across from the Lucerne train station.<div><br><\/div><div><strong>MEETING PLACE<\/strong><br>On Day 1 at 6:00 pm, please meet your Trip Leaders in the lobby of the Hotel Monopol in Lucerne. We will have a brief orientation meeting, followed by a welcome dinner.<\/p>","Custom_Arrival-_Meeting_Place":"<p><strong>Hotel Monopol<\/strong> <br>Pilatusstrasse 1<br>CH-6003 Lucerne<br>+41 41 226 43 43<\/p>","Custom_Arrival_Transfer":"","Custom_Departure":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-26T15:59:00 --><p><strong>DEPARTING KANDERSTEG<\/strong><br \/>Trip members are responsible for transferring from Kandersteg to Zurich or Geneva on their own. There is no need to book ahead, and your trip leaders will assist you with arranging the train while on the trip using your Swiss Half Fare Card. Trains from Kandersteg to Zurich take about 2.5 hours and the earliest train will get you to Zurich Airport around 8:30 am. Trains from Kandersteg to the Geneva Airport take approximately 3.25 hours, and the earliest train will get you to the airport around 9:30 am. You can check online at www.raileurope.com or www.sbb.ch\/en for current train schedules.<br \/><\/p>","Custom_Extra_Services":"<p><strong>EXTRA NIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS<\/strong><br>If you are arriving or departing on a different day and have arranged extra hotel nights through Wilderness Travel, please look for an Extra Services Confirmation in this packet. If you have not done so already and would like to, please contact us as soon as possible.<br><\/p>","Custom_Contact_Information_for_Friends_and_Family":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-26T15:59:33 --><p>If friends or family wish to contact you during the trip, we encourage them to call, text, or email you directly. Another option is to reach you by calling the hotel (please see the enclosed Hotel List). If they are unable to reach you directly, please instruct them to call our office in Berkeley, California, and we will get a message to you as soon as possible. If they need to reach you outside of our office hours, we ask that they reach out to your Trip Leaders (contact information is listed below) and also leave a message with our Berkeley office, so that we can follow up with our team on the ground.<\/p>","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Left":"","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Right":"","Custom_name_slug":"switzerland-via-alpina-hiking-tour","Custom_Meta_Description":"Hike Europe&apos;s first trans-Alps trail on this hiking adventure across a 75-mile stretch of Switzerland&apos;s legendary mountain landscapes on the Via Alpina.","Custom_List_Description":"Hike Europe&apos;s first trans-Alps trail on this hiking adventure across a 75-mile stretch of Switzerland&apos;s legendary mountain landscapes.","Custom_Redirect":"","Custom_PJ_-_Best_Months":"","Custom_After_Dates":"","Custom_Trip_Web_Note":"","Custom_Title_Tag":"Hiking Switzerland's Via Alpina Tour | Guided 10-Day Trek","Custom_Before_Days":"","Custom_After_Days_Header_1":"","Custom_After_Days_Text_1":"","Custom_After_Days_Header_2":"","Custom_After_Days_Text_2":"","Custom_Choosing_Right_Trip_Office_Contact":"","Custom_About_WT_Expeditions":"","Custom_Arrival_-_Sales":"<p><strong>Suggested Arrival Airport:<\/strong> Zurich (ZRH) or Geneva (GVA)<br><strong>Suggested Date &amp; Time:<\/strong> morning of Day 1 or anytime if arriving prior to Day 1 <br><br><strong>Meeting Place: <\/strong>Trip members are responsible for transferring from Zurich or Geneva to Lucerne on their own. A Swiss Half Fare card will be sent to you with your final documents, which you can use to purchase half price train tickets for your arrival and departure trains. Trains from Zurich to Lucerne take about 45 minutes and trains from Geneva take about 3.25 hours. There is usually at least one train per hour, and no need to book ahead. You can see schedules and fares online at <a href=\"http:\/\/www.sbb.ch\/en\">www.sbb.ch\/en<\/a> or <a href=\"http:\/\/www.raileurope.com\">www.raileurope.com<\/a>.<\/p>","Custom_Departure_-_Sales":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-24T15:40:14 --><p><strong>Suggested Airport:<\/strong> Zurich (ZRH) or Geneva (GVA)<br \/><strong>Suggested Date &amp; Time:<\/strong> No earlier than 10:30 am if flying from Zurich. No earlier than 11:30 am if flying from Geneva<br \/><br \/>Trip members are responsible for transferring from Kandersteg to Zurich or Geneva on their own. There is no need to book ahead, and your trip leaders will assist you with arranging the train while on the trip. Trains from Kandersteg to Zurich take about 2.5 hours and the earliest train will get you to Zurich Airport around 8:30 am. Trains from Kandersteg to Geneva airport take approximately 3.25 hours, and the earliest train will get you to the airport around 9:30 am. You can check online at <a href=\"http:\/\/www.raileurope.com\">www.raileurope.com<\/a> or <a href=\"http:\/\/www.sbb.ch\/en\">www.sbb.ch\/en<\/a> for current train schedules.<\/p>","Custom_International_Air_Travel":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-05-17T13:22:29 --><p>You are responsible for making your own arrangements for flights to and from Switzerland. There are many online consolidators for booking travel, but for more personal help arranging air transport, you can contact Exito Travel at 1-800-655-4053 in the US or 1-800-670-2605 in Canada. They are very adept at putting flight itineraries together, to even the most far-flung places. More information can be found on Exito's website at <a href=\"https:\/\/exitotravel.com\/\">www.exitotravel.com<\/a>.<br \/><br \/>Depending on your routing, it is necessary to depart from the US one or possibly two days prior to Day 1 of the trip itinerary. The name on your airline ticket must match the name on your passport exactly, and your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of return to the US. <br \/><br \/><strong>Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip.<\/strong> Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule. It is your responsibility to ensure your flight times coordinate with the arrival and departure logistics for this trip.<\/p>","Custom_Extra_Hotel_Nights":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-24T15:50:21 --><p>We are happy to arrange additional nights in Engelberg and Kandersteg. Please refer to our Extra Services Request form included in your Welcome Packet or contact our office.<\/p>","Custom_Recommended_Hotels":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_1":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_1":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_2":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_5":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_5":"","Custom_file_name":"hiking-switzerlands-via-alpina","Custom_Passport":"A valid passport is required for your trip. Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for three months after your date of exit from Switzerland. In addition, we recommend your passport have at least two completely blank visa pages for every country you will be visiting. It is very important that the blank pages say &#8220;Visas&#8221; at the top. The last few pages of your passport, which say &#8220;Amendments and Endorsements,&#8221; and the final page of your passport, which may not have a page number, are not considered to be legitimate visa pages. The service of adding pages for visas was discontinued as of January 1, 2016. You can request a new passport through <a href=\"http:\/\/travel.state.gov\/passport\">US Passport Services Office<\/a> or use a visa service agency, which can take care of your passport renewal and expedite the process, if needed. We recommend <a href=\"http:\/\/www.passportvisasexpress.com\/?affId=2120\">Passport Visas Express<\/a>. Be sure to allow sufficient time to acquire this before your trip. <br><br>It is very important to carry photocopies of your passport's photo page and any acquired visa pages for your trip (if applicable) in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.","Custom_Visas_and_Entry_Notes":"US citizens do not need a visa for countries visited on this trip. If you are a citizen of any country other than the US, check with a local consulate for entry requirements.","Custom_Money":"The Swiss franc is the official currency of Switzerland. The most convenient way to obtain francs is to use your debit card at ATMs. To use an ATM internationally, you must have a four-digit PIN. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops in cities and larger towns. If you plan to use your credit cards, inform your credit card company before your departure that you will be using the card abroad.","Custom_Tipping":"Tipping is completely discretionary, but over the years, clients have asked us for tipping guidelines to reward guides for outstanding service. We suggest a tip of $150 or more per trip member for each of the Trip Leaders, preferably in local currency. The Trip Leaders take care of gratuities for hotel and restaurant staff, and for local guides and drivers.","Custom_Food":"Please reach out to us directly to discuss any dietary restrictions or concerns you may have. We can easily make arrangements for most diets, but please keep in mind that certain cultural differences or logistical limitations can make it difficult or at times impossible to accommodate all requests. With this in mind, please inform us at least eight weeks before your trip if you have a special diet, and any food allergies in particular, so we can do our best to meet your needs.","Custom_Communications":"<strong>Telephone<\/strong><br>The international dialing code for Switzerland is 41. Please contact your cell phone company for specific instructions for international use.<br><strong><br>Email &amp; Internet Access<\/strong><br>Email access is available at most of our hotels and inns, but can sometimes be spotty and unreliable.","Custom_Electricity":"","Custom_Laundry":"The only place where you might be able to do laundry is in Murren, where we stay two consecutive nights. There is a laundry room at the hotel with tokens for you to do it yourself.","Custom_Ship_Notes":"","Custom_Inoculations":"No inoculations are required. However, it is easy to get a small cut, so a tetanus booster is strongly recommended (good for 10 years). If you take prescription medicines, be sure to bring enough for the duration of your trip.","Custom_International_Health":"","Custom_Malaria_Prevention":"","Custom_Staying_Healthy":"","Custom_Getting_In_Shape":"We strongly urge you to train for your trip, as your enjoyment will be highly dependent on your level of fitness. The best training for a hike is to hike, especially over hills or rough terrain. Next best are running, swimming, bicycling, or other cardiovascular exercises. Stair-climbing machines are excellent preparation for hiking uphill. Your feet should also be well prepared&mdash;make sure your hiking boots are sturdy, comfortable, and thoroughly broken-in. Altitude is generally not a problem on this trip. However, some people still experience a few problems when they first reach high altitude. Slight headache and sleeplessness are the most common symptoms. Most accommodations are between 3,500 and 6,000 feet, with two nights between 8,000 and 8,700 feet. Each day, we hike over passes located between 7,000 and 9,600 feet.<br><br>","Custom_Medical_Care":"","Custom_Altitude_Considerations":"","Custom_Covid-19":"","Custom_Reading_List":"Elevate your travel experience by delving into this curated collection of books tailored to your upcoming adventure. They will not only entertain but also provide invaluable insights into the history, culture, cuisine, wildlife, mountain trails, or even folklore of the places you're about to explore. Discover the perfect companions for your journey ahead by <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-hiking-switzerland-s-via-alpina\">following the link<\/a> or scanning the QR code.","Custom_Photography":"","Custom_Cultural_Considerations":"","Custom_Giving_Back":"","Custom_Enviromental_Concerns":"","Custom_Shopping_and_Souvenirs":"","Custom_Seasickness":"","Custom_Explore":"","Custom_Additional_Information":"","Custom_Essentials":"<ul><li>Air tickets (or E-tickets)<\/li><li>Passport<\/li><li>One other picture ID, such as a driver's license<\/li><li>Expense money<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Luggage":"We use many forms of transportation on the trip, so we ask that you restrict your luggage to one piece plus your daypack\/rucksack. Additional luggage can be checked at the airport if you plan to return to the same airport for departure. It is a sensible precaution to wear or hand-carry your hiking boots on the plane. Nearly everything else can be replaced in case of baggage loss, but not a pair of well-fitted hiking boots. <br><br><br><ul><li>Soft-sided suitcase<\/li><li>Medium-sized daypack or backpack (20-30 liters), large enough for a fleece jacket, rain gear, water bottle, camera, and other items you want on the trail. A padded hip belt and padded shoulder straps add greatly to the comfort. Our luggage is brought to our lodging in the evening, and during the day, we carry just our daypack or backpack. <\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Clothing":"Warmth and comfort are the main priorities. Weather conditions will vary greatly. On a hot and sunny day, you might want to hike in shorts and a t-shirt, but remember that in the Swiss Alps, rain and cold weather can occur at any time. Dressing in layers is the best way to stay comfortable. The single two most important and essential items for this trip are: waterproof, breathable, good quality rain jacket with a hood, and medium to heavyweight, broken in, good quality hiking boots.<strong> <br><br>Layers<\/strong><br>For your base layer, look for t-shirts and long underwear in synthetic fabrics. Synthetic fabrics (Polypropylene, Capilene, fleece) insulate and retain warmth even when they are wet, and they are far lighter than wool. They also have the added benefit of drying quickly. Avoid cotton because it is not a good insulator, especially as the first layer next to the skin. Once cotton gets wet from perspiration, it stays wet and keeps you cold. (Cotton is fine for city wear and touring.) As your insulating layer, we suggest a fleece jacket and pants, which are lightweight, warm, and breathable, or wool, which also keeps you warm even when wet. Finally, a good outer layer is necessary to block the wind and keep you dry in case of rain. Gore-Tex and equivalent fabrics are waterproof and breathable and are a practical choice. Your outer layer should be roomy enough to fit over other layers of clothing. <br><br><strong><br>The clothing list below is provided as a guideline only:<\/strong><br><br><ul><li>Gore-Tex rain\/wind shell jacket with hood, and Gore-Tex rain\/wind pants (preferably with leg zippers so that they can be taken off without removing your boots). Important: Whether you choose Gore-Tex, Supplex, or a similar fabric, make sure your jacket has a hood and sealed seams to prevent leaking.<\/li><li>Waterproof rain pants. Pants with leg zippers are practical because you can take them off without removing your boots.<\/li><li>Fleece jacket or heavy wool sweater<\/li><li>Fleece vest. Optional (great for layering).<\/li><li>Fleece sweater or sweatshirt<\/li><li>Polypropylene or Capilene long underwear, bottoms and tops<\/li><li>Long-sleeved shirt. Wool, fleece, or quick-drying &#8220;travel&#8221; fabrics like nylon.<\/li><li>T-shirts<\/li><li>Hiking pants, one or two pairs. Jeans are not suitable because they are made of dense cotton, and once wet, will stay wet. Pile pants or synthetic hiking pants are a practical choice, as are &#8220;convertible&#8221; pants.<\/li><li>Hiking shorts, two pairs. Quick-drying nylon shorts are great.<\/li><li>Shade hat with a wide brim<\/li><li>Fleece hat for warmth<\/li><li>Fleece mittens or gloves<\/li><li>Medium to heavyweight waterproofed hiking boots with good ankle support, designed for on- and off-trail hiking with multi-day hikes in mind<\/li><li>Comfortable walking shoes.<\/li><li>Hiking socks. Thick pairs (Thorlo-type) as well as synthetic liner socks.<\/li><li>Underwear. Synthetics dry faster.<\/li><li>Bathing suit (for hotel pools)<\/li><li>Sleepwear (long underwear can double)<\/li><li>Casual city\/hotel attire (for certain evenings when we dine in some quite fine restaurants, you might feel more comfortable wearing dressier, non-hiking clothes. Khakis and a nice shirt will suffice for men; coat and tie not necessary)<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Hiking_Boots":"<strong>Your boots must be waterproof, warm, comfortable, and broken in, with an excellent tread!<\/strong> If you are uncertain about the tread quality of your boots, buy a new pair rather than risk slipping on rocky trails and scree. Please choose your boots carefully. It is a sensible precaution to wear or hand-carry your hiking boots on the plane. Nearly everything else can be replaced in case of baggage loss, but not a pair of well-fitted, fully broken-in hiking boots. <br><br>For this trip, you need medium- to heavyweight hiking boots designed for on- and off-trail hiking with multi-day hikes in mind. Lightweight boots don't offer the high degree of ankle support and foot protection you need. Full-grain leather is extremely water-resistant and durable and is preferable to split-grain leather or nylon. Remember that full-grain leather boots tend to be stiffer and will need a break-in period. If you are shopping for new boots, ask your store about boots with built-in Gore-Tex-type waterproof barriers that enhance water-resistance. If you have old full-grain leather boots, coat them with silicon waterproofing material to increase their water resistance. Waterproofing materials wear off over time and need to be re-applied. Gore-Tex boots are considered waterproof for one year unless the membrane is punctured. <br><br>If you're buying a new pair of boots, make sure a qualified salesperson gives you proper guidance in determining fit. Don't buy any boots that you are not permitted to return after wearing for several hours around the house. Blisters caused by improperly fitted or insufficiently broken-in boots are the most common and painful problem normally encountered on hiking trips. Before you depart, you should be able to wear your boots for a full, active day with no discomfort. Even boots you have owned for years can sometimes produce blisters when you are doing this amount of hiking. Limber up feet and boots before departure, and bring a good supply of Second Skin.","Custom_Equipment":"<ul><li><strong>Hiking poles (strongly recommended). <\/strong>Hiking with a collapsible hiking pole, such as those by Leki and REI, helps to distribute your body weight, takes pressure off your knees, and improves your balance. Some hikers like using one pole, and others hike with two poles.<\/li><li>Two reusable water bottles, 1 qt. capacity.<\/li><li>Good quality sunglasses with case. A spare pair of sunglasses is a good idea should your first pair be broken or lost.<\/li><li>Bandannas (many uses)<\/li><li>Stuff sacks or plastic bags to compartmentalize items in luggage<\/li><li>Small amount of detergent for hand-washing clothes<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Personal_First_Aid":"Every trip member should bring a small kit for personal use. Your own experience will influence your choices.<br><br><ul><li>Sunscreen SPF 30 or higher and lip balm with sunscreen. We recommend mineral-based sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they do not contain harsh chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Brands such as Honest Company, Badger, and Alba Botanica are found in most sporting goods stores and drugstores.<\/li><li>Aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol for muscle pain or headache, Tylenol PM for sleep<\/li><li>Blister kit. Look for long-lasting gel-type bandages that you can apply directly on blisters, such as Band-Aid Advanced Healing Bandages or Curad Gel Multi-Day Bandages. &#8220;Liquid band-aids,&#8221; such as New-Skin, are useful because they dry rapidly to form a tough protective cover over a blister.<\/li><li>Prescription medications properly labeled<\/li><li>Spare contact lenses or spare prescription glasses<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Optional_Items":"<ul><li>Voltage converter and plug adapter for appliance use in hotels. Europe has 220-volt current. Plugs usually have two or three prongs. Note: Most new appliances do not need a voltage converter.<\/li><li>Flashlight and extra batteries<\/li><li>Fleece neck gaiter<\/li><li>Camera, spare batteries, film or memory cards<\/li><li>Reading\/writing material<\/li><li>Travel clock<\/li><li>Small umbrella<\/li><li>Washcloth, if you like to use one (most European hotels do not provide them)<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Prohibited_Items":"","Custom_When_to_Go":"","Custom_Children":"","Custom_Tag_Line":"Traverse the &ldquo;Top of the Alps&rdquo; Through the Bernese Oberland","Custom_Lodging":"9 nights hotels and mountain inns","Custom_Meals":"All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner","Custom_Difficulty":"8 challenging hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 5-8 hours a day, altitudes up to 11,500 feet, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day&apos;s hike)","Custom_Currency_Exchange_Rate":"","Custom_Fuel_Surcharge":"","Custom_Signing_Up_For_a_Trip_-_Email":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_This_Year":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_Next_Year":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Header":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Text":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>This trip is rated <strong>Level 5+, Strenuous<\/strong>, according to our trip grading system. You will need to be comfortable hiking 11 miles a day for several days in a row, being on your feet for up to 9 hours a day, and hiking on narrow, uneven, and exposed surfaces. While no climbing or mountaineering experience is necessary, all trip members should have ample hiking experience and be able to keep up with the group as there are no alternative hiking options available. Trail conditions, weather, and the group's level of fitness can affect hiking times and pacing. <strong><br><\/strong><strong><br><\/strong><strong>Average Hiking Day<\/strong> <ul><li>9 miles; 7 hours <\/li><li>2,500-3,500 feet gain\/loss <\/li><li>Altitudes range from 7,000-11,500 feet <\/li><\/ul><strong> Challenge Day<\/strong><ul><li>Day 8: 14 miles, 8-9 hours, 4,500 feet gain, and 4,250 feet loss<\/li><\/ul><\/body>","Custom_Terrain":"At lower elevations, the trails are usually packed dirt, but at higher elevations they are often much rockier, with occasional sections of glacial snow, loose scree, and large boulders. On some days, you will encounter sections of narrow, exposed trails with steep descents and chain handrails. Your experienced mountain guides are there to assist you if needed.","Custom_Getting_in_Shape":"","Custom_Weather":"Temperatures are likely to reach the 60s\u00b0F and 70s\u00b0F during the day, with cool breezes and occasional rain. At night the temperature will drop quite a bit, depending on the altitude. The months we run these trips have the optimal weather conditions, but still can be fickle. It can range from blue skies to cloudy, wet, and cold conditions, making rain gear and warm garments necessary items to carry with you on every hike.","Custom_Accommodations":"We spend our nights in alpine inns and hotels. Some are more traditional hotels and some have very small rooms, but they all have their own private bathroom with a shower or bathtub. Please note that the rooms are not always of uniform or international size. Our leaders do their best to assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trip as a whole. Many hotels also do not have an elevator or porter service, so be prepared to carry your luggage up the stairs. Single rooms can be requested but are not always available, due to the limited space in the hotels. If you prefer a single room, please make your request as early as possible.","Custom_Cuisine":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-09T18:46:38 --><p>Lunch will be in a mountain lodge, at a local restaurant, or in a picnic spot amidst the beauty of the surrounding mountains. Most evenings we will have dinner at our hotel. Some of the items you may see on the menu include hearty soups, a variety of cheeses and dry meats from the region, cheese fondue, raclette (melted cheese served with jacket potatoes), cocktail gherkins and onions, pickled fruit, &auml;lplermagronen (a kind of gratin with potatoes, macaroni, cheese, cream and onions), r&ouml;sti (a flat, hot cake made of grated, cooked potatoes and fried in hot butter), z&uuml;rcher geschnetzelte (a veal dish, sometimes also containing veal liver and mushrooms, served with a cream sauce), and bratwurst served with onion sauce. <\/p><p>Please note that in Europe, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the US. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 pm.<\/p>","Custom_Transportation":"Our support vehicle will transport the group's luggage, so you only need to carry a daypack (rain gear, sweater, camera, water bottle, etc.). Trip members are always free to skip a day's hike and travel to the next destination in the support vehicle (or remain at the hotel if we are not transfering that day). We will experience the efficient Swiss network of public transport from cable cars and chair lifts to cogwheel trains, funiculars, and the Post Bus which travels along marvelous, scenic roads to tiny mountain hamlets while delivering bread, salad, the newspaper, and letters to the locals.","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_2":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_2":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_1":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_2":"","System_Choosing_the_Right_Trip":"<p>Adventure travel often involves exotic destinations, unusual levels of physical exertion, or activities you may not have participated in previously. We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please call Wilderness Travel at 1-800-368-2794 or email us at <a href=\"mailto:\/\/info@wildernesstravel.com\">info@wildernesstravel.com<\/a>.<\/p>","System_References":"<p>We&rsquo;d be happy to put you in touch with a past client that has traveled with us.<\/p>","System_Visit_Our_Website":"<p>At <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/\">www.wildernesstravel.com<\/a>, you can book your trip online or find out about added departures, last-minute deals, and one-time Limited Edition adventures that aren&rsquo;t listed in our catalog. You can also access our complete library of detailed itineraries filled with enticing photos and videos, read bios of our Trip Leaders, find descriptions of trip accommodations, and check real-time availability of any trips that interest you.<\/p>","System_Helpful_Links":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:52:03 --><p>Wilderness Travel has compiled a list of useful websites for travelers. Find the Toucan Club tab on the home page of our website and choose Helpful Links: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links\">www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links<\/a>.<\/p>","System_About_New_Trips":"This is a new adventure and one that we are particularly excited about offering. However, as with all new departures, flexibility and a spirit of adventure are always appreciated! Activities are described in the itinerary but they can vary, sometimes considerably, depending on weather conditions, the group, and other factors.","System_About_Private_Journeys":"<p>Wilderness Travel Private Journeys are designed for people who want to travel with their own small private group, but who still want to experience the same superb itinerary design, great accommodations, and signature quality of Wilderness Travel's escorted group trips. These Private Journeys allow you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions&mdash;and enjoy the WT touch on all aspects of the journey.<\/p>","System_Limited_Edition_Adventures":"This is a Limited Edition adventure&mdash;which means a unique trip we've never run before or offer only every few years. Led by our most experienced Trip Leaders, these journeys often take place in remote destinations with only the most basic infrastructure for tourism. If you see a Limited Edition trip scheduled for this year, now is the time to sign up, as spaces fill very early and the trip may not be back for a while! Planned daily activities and actual timings may vary due to local conditions or the discretion of your Trip Leader&mdash;it is important to bring your spirit of adventure for these special exploratory journeys!","System_Social_Media":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:33:43 --><p><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA:<\/strong> We invite you to share your adventure with us on social media. Tag @wildernesstravel and we may even feature your content on our pages!<\/p>","System_If_You_Miss_Your_Flight":"<p><strong>IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT<\/strong><br>If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact our Wilderness Travel office, as well as our local partners, with your new flight information. Refer to the Emergency Contact Information listed in this Final Bulletin.<\/p>","System_Valid_Passport":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-16T10:26:21 --><p><strong>VALID PASSPORT:<\/strong> Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, and that you have at least two blank pages for any necessary visa or entry and exit stamps.<\/p>","System_Insurance_Policy":"<p><strong>INSURANCE POLICY:<\/strong> If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan, you should have received an email confirmation of your policy. Please bring a digital or printed copy of this policy with you. If you cannot find your email confirmation, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. If you have not purchased Travelex insurance already, you have the option to do so up to 24 hours prior to your departure.<\/p>","System_Covid-19_Travel_Requirements":"<p><strong>PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION<\/strong><strong>: <\/strong>Please review your Pre-Departure Information booklet included in this packet for important information regarding Wilderness Travel's COVID-19 protocols, packing lists, recommended reading, tipping, etc.<\/p>","System_Wilderness_Travel_Office":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:07 --><p>Our office in Berkeley, California can be reached at 510-558-2488, or by email at info@wildernesstravel.com. We are available during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, PST). <\/p>","System_ECI_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:31 --><p>If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan through Wilderness Travel, please remember to bring your Confirmation of Coverages (COC) with you on the trip, including your Plan Number and important emergency contact information.<\/p><p>If you've purchased a travel protection plan on your own, we recommend that you bring a copy of your policy, including all coverages, with you on your trip.<\/p>","System_Face_Masks_and_Hand_Sanitizer":"","System_DidNotPurchase_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-02-28T12:27:44 --><p>Travel Insurance: We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this trip. For your convenience, we offer Travelex travel protection. Please let us know if you would like us to add the Travelex Travel Protection Plan to this final invoice. You can learn more about the policy on our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/toucan\/travel-insurance\">website<\/a>.<\/p>","System_Purchased_Insurance":"Please remember to bring a copy of your Travelex Confirmation of Coverage and State Specific Policy with you on your trip. You should have received an email directly from Travelex with these documents. If you need this email to be re-sent, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. <br><br><br>","System_COVID-19":"The Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 declared by the World Health Organization and the US Department of Health and Human Services expired in 2023. As of March 2024, we no longer require guests who exhibit cold or flu symptoms to test for COVID-19. Guests who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to follow local health protocols, wear a mask in group vehicles and during indoor activities for the remainder of the trip, and may be asked to dine separately. Any travel companion sharing a room with them will also be required to wear a mask at all times in the shared group vehicles for the remainder of the trip.<br><br>We encourage all travelers to actively monitor their own well-being and to use common-sense preventative measures such as regular handwashing (or use of hand sanitizer) and\/or wearing a face mask. If you are feeling sick, we encourage you to self-isolate and\/or wear a mask to protect your fellow travelers. Guests may be required to wear a mask if the Trip Leader believes the situation warrants it.<br><br>Leading up to the trip, we encourage you to do everything possible to stay healthy, including avoiding close contact with anyone displaying cold or flu symptoms and washing your hands often. As always, by traveling with Wilderness Travel, guests agree to be accountable for their own well-being. If you are worried about a fellow traveler's cold or flu-like symptoms, you may opt to wear a mask or distance yourself as needed. It's important to remember that there are inherent risks associated with travel and group settings.<br><br>These protocols will be reviewed and adjusted as guidance evolves. <br><br>","System_Photography":"<strong>Camera Recommendations<\/strong><br>With the many advances in digital technology, a simple compact digital camera or even your smartphone is capable of taking pictures suitable for the needs of most people. For higher quality images and the ability to use long lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a DSLR camera is well worthwhile, though heavier. Most digital cameras and phones have good video options, but you may want to consider a GoPro for a lightweight, waterproof option. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider renting camera equipment for your trip from places such as <a href=\"https:\/\/www.lensrentals.com\/\">lensrentals.com<\/a>. This is an especially good idea for renting large zoom lenses that you may need for just one trip. Adding their extra insurance fee to cover expensive equipment is recommended. <br><strong><br>Camera Accessories<\/strong><br>We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards or a small digital storage unit (or tablet) to back up your photos, freeing space on your memory cards. Don't forget to bring a battery charger and a backup battery so one is always charged and ready to use. For trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger or buying additional backup batteries, and check that you have the appropriate adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination.<br><strong><br>Sharing Your Images<\/strong><br>We would love for you to share photos from your trip, and with your permission, may even use your photos in our marketing materials or on our photo blog. We request that you send us a small sample of your best images. Please email your photos to wtphotoblog@gmail.com or tag us @WildernessTravel on social media.<br><strong><br>Photography Etiquette<\/strong><br>When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Approaching people with a warm smile and using polite gestures or simple phrases to ask permission to photograph them usually works well. It is always recommended to engage people in conversation before asking to photograph them, but if people do not wish to have their photo taken, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which makes it harder for future travelers to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. Please always heed your Trip Leader's guidelines for what is appropriate. ","System_Gear_Store":"To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store (<a href=\"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.newheadings.com\/\">wildernesstravel.newheadings.com<\/a>).","System_Questions?":"<p>Our Area Specialists are your single point of contact and would be happy to answer any questions about your trip!<br>800.368.2794 | 510.558.2488<\/p>","System_Pricing_Detail-Small_Group_Adventure":" <br><br>To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are priced according to the number of participants on the trip. All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. Please note that Wilderness Travel staff, or guests of Wilderness Travel such as travel writers, photographers, or leaders-in-training, are not included in the tier pricing count.","System_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:58:05 --><p>We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance. You can take advantage of a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan designed for Wilderness Travel by Travelex, or purchase other insurance on your own. See our website for details: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance\">www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance<\/a><\/p>","System_Make_it_Your_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:18 --><p>The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this Detailed Itinerary, a popular option that has been handcrafted by our Area Specialists to include the best of every destination. While many travelers choose to book this tour as is, our Area Specialists are also happy to work with you to customize this Private Journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel. We can arrange for longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades (see below for sample costs), or add an extension to additional places of interest. We can even add special activities or customize excursions depending on your interests. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options!<\/p>","System_Signing_up_for_a_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:42 --><p>Early reservations are recommended since accommodations often sell out far in advance. Please call 1-800-368-2794 and ask for our [Africa Manager] or email us at [africa@ wildernesstravel.com] with any questions that you may have about this trip. To reserve your Private Journey, we will need to know your preferred dates of travel. We will then check availability and send you a proposed itinerary with exact pricing for your adventure. We can typically hold a provisional booking for one week. At that time, we must collect your initial deposit or accommodations will be released. We accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a letter of confirmation, Detailed Itinerary, Trip Application, Medical Form, and Pre-Departure Information Booklet with information to help you prepare for your adventure. Please see our Cancellations and Transfer Fee Schedule for specific payment information.<\/p>","System_Trip_Leaders":"<p>Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/leaders\/\">wildernesstravel.com\/leaders<\/a>.<\/p>"},"terms":{"PaymentSchedule":"<p>At time of reservation: $600<br>90 days prior to departure: Balance<\/p>","CancelSchedule":"<p>Up to 91 days prior to departure: No Charge!<br>61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost<br>46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost<br>45 days or less: 100% of trip cost<br><\/p>"}}